2020 Blackwell-Tapia Conference and Award Ceremony


Date:  October 2-3, 2020

Location:  Events will be held on the campus of North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC

Description: This is the tenth conference since 2000, held every other year, with the location rotating among NSF Mathematics Institutes. The conference and prize honors David Blackwell, the first African-American member of the National Academy of Science, and Richard Tapia, winner of the National Medal of Science in 2010, two seminal figures who inspired a generation of African-American, Native American and Latino/Latina students to pursue careers in mathematics. The Blackwell-Tapia Prize recognizes a mathematician who has contributed significantly to research in his or her area of expertise, and who has served as a role model for mathematical scientists and students from underrepresented minority groups, or has contributed in other significant ways to addressing the problem of under-representation of minorities in math.

Goals of the conference are to:

  • Recognize and showcase mathematical excellence by minority researchers
  • Recognize and disseminate successful efforts to address under-representation
  • Inform students and mathematicians about career opportunities in mathematics, especially outside academia
  • Provide networking opportunities for mathematical researchers at all points
    in the higher education/career trajectory

Conference Tentative Schedule

Pre-Conference Speaker:  Arlie Peters, Duke University, Distinguished Professor of Mathematics and a Professor of Physics and Economics and the first recipient of the Blackwell Tapia Prize in 2002.

Nominations Solicited for Blackwell-Tapia Prize
Nominations are solicited for the tenth Blackwell-Tapia Prize, which will be awarded at a conference to be held under the auspices of the Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute (SAMSI) on October 2/3, 2020.

Nominees should be active mathematical scientists who have (1) contributed and continue to contribute significantly to research in their fields of expertise; and (2) served and continue to serve as role models for mathematical scientists and students from underrepresented minority groups or contributed in other significant ways to addressing the problem of the underrepresentation of minorities in mathematics. Previous recipients of the Blackwell-Tapia Prize have been Arlie Petters, Benjamin Powell Professor and Professor of Mathematics, Physics, and Business Administration at Duke University (2002); Rodrigo Bañuelos, Professor of Mathematics at Purdue University, (2004); William Massey, Edwin S. Wilsey Professor of Operations Research and Financial Engineering at Princeton University (2006); Juan Meza, Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of California, Merced and currently Director of the National Science Foundation’s Division of Mathematical Sciences (2008); Trachette Jackson, Professor of Mathematics and Director of the Jackson Cancer Modeling Group at the University of Michigan (2010); Ricardo Cortez, Pendergraft William Larkin Duren Professor of Mathematics at Tulane University (2012); Jacqueline Hughes-Oliver, Professor of Statistics at North Carolina State University (2104); Mariel Vazquez, Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, and Mathematics at the University of California, Davis (2016); and Ronald Mickens, Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Physics at Clark Atlanta University (2018).

Nominations should include a letter addressing both eligibility requirements, along with a CV of the nominee. Additional letters supporting the nomination may be included, but are not required. Nominations should be sent by e-mail to Robert Megginson at meggin@umich.edu by April 30, 2020.

The biennial Blackwell-Tapia Prize was established in 2002 by the Mathematical and Theoretical Biology Institute and the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in honor of David H. Blackwell and Richard A. Tapia, distinguished mathematical scientists who have been inspirations to more than a generation of African American and Latinx students and professionals in the mathematical sciences. The Blackwell-Tapia Conference at which the prize is awarded is currently supported by a consortium of U.S. mathematics institutes, which host the conference in turn. Previous hosts have been MSRI (2002), IPAM (2004), IMA (2006), SAMSI (2008), MBI (2010), ICERM (2012), IPAM (2014), NIMBioS (2016). And ICERM (2018). Prior to the first awarding of the prize, an initial Blackwell-Tapia Conference was held at Cornell University in 2000, supported by MTBI and MSRI.

The conference is supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the NSF Mathematical Sciences Institutes Diversity Committee